Dr. Helen

Do women's products cost more or do women demand more costly products?

An article at CNBC entitled “Being a woman costs more than being a man: Study” finds that women must spend more to get their products:

Women are paying thousands of dollars more over the course of their lives than men to purchase similar products, according to a study of the gender pricing of goods in New York City, which revealed widespread gender-based pricing disparities.

Comparing nearly 800 products with clear male and female versions from more than 90 brands sold in store and online, NYC’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) which carried out the study into gender pricing, found that the women’s version of products cost more than men’s.

The industries studied for the report included toys and accessories, children’s clothing, adult clothing, personal care products, and home health care products for seniors.

If men’s brands are so much cheaper, why not just get the product made for men? The comment section had some good insights:

Women products cost more, because women are willing to pay more. If you raise the price for men, they switch brands, they shave or shampoo less often. If women didn’t have such brand loyalty or fall susceptible to manufacturer’s marketing they wouldn’t pay more. If the product really is the same all women have to do is purchase the men’s version. No retail clerk every stopped a man from purchasing a “woman’s” product, nor has the retail clerk stopped a woman from purchasing a man’s product. (I purchase for my wife and daughters, my wife purchase for me – never a problem at the cash register). If women would vote with their pocketbooks the discrepancy would go away. If woman want to pay more for pink packaging who am I to tell them not to? And why should a manufacturer give up profits the women are willing to pay?

This is not proof that women are being scammed (except maybe by other women). Rather, I think it is an independent study that proves that women are willing to pay more for the same things than men. And why? Probably because many of them are shopping with a MAN’S credit card.

These studies often look at what women want to buy and what they find important. Where is the study that shows how much men have to pay for dates and why it is more expensive to be a man in our society? That study has no political points to score and hence, we rarely see them. Men pay for plenty, they just complain less.